EARLINE LEBLANC HERR
SEPTEMBER 4, 1929 – OCTOBER 24, 2006
Born in Gretna, Louisiana, before there were bridges to New Orleans, when folks dressed up to go to town by way of a ferry, Earline was the oldest of two daughters. She met her future husband, Cleve, at the age of 15, while taking the ferry. She would not date him, unless he went to church with her. He did.
Four years later, they would marry. Six and a half years later the first of two daughters would arrive. Ten more years would rush by. The year is 1965; Earline decides (when most women, are stay-at-home moms, and women’s lib is in its infancy) to go to work to help support the family, so Cleve can answer a call from God, at the age of 40, to become a minister.
The four-year college thing would stretch into a good ten years, with Cleve graduating from Tulane University in 1973, coinciding with daughter, Stephanie’s graduation from high school. There would be another three years of seminary before Cleve would go on to be ordained a full fledged minister.
All this time, while working full time at Motors Insurance Corp., Earline managed to still be available for school functions at night, throwing together many a meal on the run, before microwave ovens or decent T.V. dinners. She attended church regularly on Sundays, often teaching Sunday school. She occasionally threw together a play, sang in the choir, played the organ (never having taken formal music lessons), and attended night time prayer meetings.
She was also the keeper of the calendar, reminding everyone where they needed to be and what time to be there. She was the chauffeur to school, activities, and doctor appointments.
She proof-read and typed many a school paper for Cleve, as well as daughters, Stephanie and Lisa. She had no maid, and her mother, Grandma Mabel, was the child care.
After Cleve passed away in 1998, she continued to attend Gretna United Methodist Church, the church they rejoined after retiring and moving back to Gretna. This was the church they belonged to before Cleve went into the ministry.
In 2000, Earline was blessed with a great-grandson, Damion, whom she helped raise. She spent two years taking care of her dear sister, Jackie until her passing the day before Earline’s 75th birthday, in 2004.
Earline stayed home, alone, for Katrina, refusing to evacuate. A week later, when her daughter Stephanie and her family came to rescue her, they found her house to be hidden by branches, just as Stephanie had prayed that God hide her house and keep her safe.
Shortly after her birthday in September 2006, Earline thought she had bronchitis. Subsequently, she developed pneumonia, and then had a stroke, which contributed to her passing at West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero, Louisiana.
She truly let her light shine. Well done faithful servant!
Source: Louisiana Conference Journal, 2007; p. 253.